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  • Marcella Arnesen

Start Living a Sustainable Lifestyle!

This new year, it is crucial to prioritize the health of our environment. Even though we may try not to, humans produce more than 35 billion tons of carbon dioxide (MIT Climate Portal). Gasses such as carbon dioxide (CO2) trap heat in the atmosphere, increasing the planet's temperature. The natural balance of nature is being disrupted, leading to an increased frequency of natural disasters. Together, we can help diminish these adverse effects.

Here are five small yet effective ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle:

1. Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion can mean buying clothes from second-hand stores, aka thrifting. Sustainable fashion includes brands that significantly reduce consumption and waste by being mindful of their environment and those who produce the clothes. These brands use natural or recycled fabrics, or they may work with a "no waste policy," in which they use every last scrap in their clothing. It is an ethical fashion that usually comes from small businesses. Not only are you helping the world, but you are helping someone's business grow!

2. Avoid Single-Use Plastic

Plastic waste is one of the leading causes of pollution in the world. Something as easy as using metal water bottles over plastic ones can help reduce the environmental impact. Avoid using plastic straws, plastic bags, or plastic Tupperware, and start utilizing metal straws, cloth bags, and metal or glass containers.

3. Makeup and Skincare

Less is more. Try to limit the number of products you use; just buy what you need. Use reusable cotton pads for your makeup, you can throw them in the washing machine, and they will be as good as new. Use less water when washing your face or brushing your teeth; always turn the tap off. Avoid micro-plastics (polyethylene) in skincare products - these can be found predominantly in cleansing balms. Switch your plastic toothbrush and hairbrush for bamboo ones. Look at the packaging of the products, is all that plastic necessary?

Here are some of the things mentioned above:

4. Gifting

Instead of buying gift bags every year, save the ones you receive for future use! Consider buying minimalist gifts for your loved ones. Some people would rather receive thoughtful gifts than just any other material gift. You can also DIY your gifts, for example, making jewelry from things you already have at home.

5. Eating

Eat more plants and expand your taste palate. Not only is this healthy for you, but also for the world. Some people also grow their food and eat whatever is in season. Consider going to your local Whole Foods and choosing organic over highly processed foods. According to the Oceanic Society, sustainable seafood protects fish habitats and minimizes incidental impacts on ocean wildlife. Start asking more questions. If it isn't already labeled, make sure you ask where the fish was sourced. As always, it is best to buy locally. You support the community, and you keep the health of the environment.

You do not have to do all these steps to start being sustainable. Small steps are better than no steps! Even changing a small aspect of your life can help.


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